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WILLIAMS v. JOHNSON

December 20, 1915

WILLIAMS
v.
JOHNSON



ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA

White, McKenna, Holmes, Day, Hughes, Van Devanter, Lamar, Pitney, McReynolds

Author: Mckenna

[ 239 U.S. Page 416]

 MR. JUSTICE McKENNA delivered the opinion of the court.

Suit to quiet title brought by Johnson, defendant in error, in the district court of Grady County, State of Oklahoma, against plaintiffs in error.

The contention of defendant in error is that the land was an allotment to one Selin Taylor, a member of the Choctaw Tribe of Indians by blood; that on November 22, 1904, a patent was duly issued to him executed by the proper officers of that Nation and the Chickasaw Nation, and the United States, and that at the time of the allotment the land was inalienable.

On February 9, 1906, the United States Indian agent issued to Taylor a certificate (No. 2458) removing Taylor's disabilities respecting the alienation of the land and on February 16 Taylor conveyed the land by warranty deed to C. B. Campbell, and the latter and his wife, on March 13 following, conveyed the land by like deed to Johnson. The deeds were duly recorded.

On November 15, 1906, Taylor and his wife conveyed the land by warranty deed to James E. Whithead, and on October 22, 1909, Whitehead conveyed the land to one McNeill, who, on the 25th of that month, conveyed to Johnson.

Johnson's petition alleged that the claim of title of the defendants (plaintiffs in error here) was based upon a power of attorney covering the land executed by Taylor on March 11, 1907, and charged that the power of attorney constituted a cloud upon his (Johnson's) title.

The answer of the defendants admitted the allotment to Taylor and the execution of the various instruments of conveyance from him and his grantees to Johnson, and alleged that Taylor received his allotment under an act of Congress of July 1, 1902, c. 1362, 32 Stat. 641, known as an "Act to Ratify and Confirm an Agreement with the

[ 239 U.S. Page 417]

     Choctaw and Chickasaw Tribes of Indians, and for Other Purposes" and that the act was called an "agreement" and was ratified by Congress and the voters of those tribes, and was a binding contract upon the United States and the Indians of those tribes and particularly Taylor. That Taylor is not a ward of the United States and was not at the time the land was allotted, and that by an act of Congress of March 3, 1901, c. 68, 31 Stat. 1447, Taylor was made a citizen of the United States, with the rights, privileges and immunities of such.

That the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations and not the United States are the grantors in the patent to Taylor and imposed restrictions upon him against the alienation of the land and have not consented to the removal of those restrictions. That the deeds executed by Taylor under which Johnson claimed title were in violation of such restrictions and therefore void. That the patent to Taylor was issued by authority of ยง 29 of the act of Congress of June 28, 1898, c. 517, 30 Stat. 495, 505, and contained the following clause: "Subject, however, to the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 1, 1902 (32 Stat. 641)."

That Taylor and the defendants claim title to the land under that agreement and patent; that the restrictions imposed upon the alienation of the land were for the protection and benefit of the members of the tribes; that Taylor was a full-blood Choctaw Indian and a member of the Choctaw tribe, did not understand the English language, was wholly ignorant of land values, was in need of and entitled to the protection and benefit of the ...


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